Delegates started the Tuesday session of the confab with adoption of the votes and proceedings of Monday’s plenary which lasted one hour.Sani Zoro drew the attention of the Conference to the failure of the Presidency to commiserate with the people of Kano State over Monday’s bomb blast that killed and injured many.
“The last time this body agreed to convey condolence to the government and people of Plateau State, there was no expression of sympathy to the people of Kano State. Mr. Chairman, my analyses have shown that condolences have not been extended to states that are not controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party.
“This lack of communication by Mr. President is not unfair. Anybody who is saying that I am wrong should show me where the Presidency has sent condolences to people in the North-West zone. I want to bring to the notice of this august house that the Presidency should send messages of condolences to the people of Kano State.” he said.
The Conference, agreed that a letter be written from the Conference to extend condolences to the President, the Kano State Government, and the victims of the blast.
A minute silence was also observed by the delegates and prayers offered for the repose of the souls of the dead.
The Chairman, Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora, Ibrahim Gambari was given the floor to present the report of the committee.
He recounted how Nigerian contractors supplied boats to the contingents in Darfur which is a desert and wondered what might have informed the purchase of the boats for the operations.
He noted that other countries like Ghana buy superior equipment for their military in peace-keeping operations, adding that although the equipment are brought back after the peace-keeping operations, the United Nations reimbursed the country that bought them.
Gambari, therefore, advised that high quality military equipments be bought for the country’s military on peace-keeping operations.
Josephine Annenih drew attention to page 16 which called for the cleaning up of Nigeria’s image damaged by some of its citizens abroad. She noted that many Nigerians suffer because embassy officials consider them as fraudsters and do not give them adequate support in times of need and crisis.
“Most of Nigerians go abroad to better themselves and not to be fraudsters,” she said.
Ike Nwachukwu said the country must be alive to in its responsibilities if it must achieve much at the international front. With the situation where the media on a daily basis disparages the country, it becomes very difficult for any envoy to present a good picture of such a country abroad.
He said it was unfortunate that Nigeria gave less than 1 percent of its budget to the Foreign Service, and called for improvement in the defence and economic fronts.
“Any country that is weak in defence and in its economy cannot be a great country internationally,” he said.
Florence Ita-Giwa drew attention to the recommendation for the respect of international law and raised the issue of the Green Tree Agreement. She said that Nigeria lost Bakassi to Camaroon to show its respect to international statutes and agreement.
“I want to call on this august house to do something to resettle the people of Bakassi. We do not want this country to go to war because of Bakassi. All we want to say is that the people of Bakassi should be resettled.” She said.
Alfred Diete-Spriff drew the attention of the Conference to displaced Nigerians from Equatorial Guinea and called for action to resettle them as well as the Bakassi people.
Spiff also called for Nigerian envoys to understand and speak French while students in the country should also be made to study the language.